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$30M made available to make NY towns cleaner and greener

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - Updated: 4:23 PM

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced $30 million statewide in the first round of funding for implementing regional sustainability plans, including the plan endorsed by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which includes Hamilton County.

The plans were developed under the governor's $100 million Cleaner, Greener Communities program, a major statewide initiative to invest in smart growth planning and sustainability.

"This first round of funding will put each region's sustainability plans to action," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "Through the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, regions across the state have developed plans from the bottom up, building on their assets and identifying needs, to create green jobs while investing in projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution. These plans will help accelerate our clean energy economy."

Funding of $30 million will be available for sustainability projects through the competitive 2013 Consolidated Funding Application process. Entities can apply for funds that meet the criteria set in the Cleaner, Greener Communities program for three types of projects:

• permitting for photovoltaic installations and electric vehicle recharging stations;

• updating municipal plans to include smart growth and sustainability guidelines including land use planning; and

• larger scale projects ($1M-$5M) that advance goals in the sustainability plan.

More information on the North Country Sustainability Plan is at www.adirondack.org/green. For information about Consolidated Funding Application guidelines and application go to regionalcouncils.ny.gov/.

NORTH COUNTRY PLAN

The North Country Sustainability Plan addresses energy, transportation, land use and livable communities, waste management, water management, economic development and agriculture / forestry.

_It aims to create the greenest and most self-reliant energy economy in the state, according to Anthony G. Collins, president of Clarkson University and co-chairman of the North Country RED-C.

Plan statistics show the North Country already generates 94 percent of its electricity through renewable sources.

The region contributes to just 3 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. Forty percent of those emissions are due to transportation. The region has 24 percent of the state's land area but has to rely on travel by automobile.

OPPORTUNITIES IDed

The plan identifies economic opportunities related to renewable energy development, and some of the strategies and ingredients required to make use of them, including greener transportation options like rail.

"This plan now stands alongside the general Regional Economic Development Plan as a tool for devising well-conceived strategies, programs and projects," said Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the North Country RED-C.

The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is an independent, not-for-profit organization working to strengthen key sectors of the economy in the 14 counties of northern New York state.

     

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